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Where is Mesut Ozil?

Where is Mesut Ozil?

Where is Mesut Ozil? The assistant king was welcomed at the Emirates like a god in 2013, but fewer fans were sad to witness him leave in 2021.

When it first became known that Arsenal was considering signing Kai Havertz, the temptation was there to immediately discount the rumor as untrue. The suggestion that the Gunners were willing to spend a lot of money for a player who had only scored 19 goals in 91 games for Chelsea shocked even reporters with strong insider sources.

The transfer actually caught everyone outside of the Emirates completely off guard. But compared to the uproar caused by Arsenal’s earlier signing of a young German international ten years ago, it was nothing.

When Real Madrid smashed the transfer record to acquire Gareth Bale from Tottenham in the summer of 2013, Florentino Perez’s accounting team faced a (Financial Fair Play) issue. To balance the accounts, a significant item would need to be sold, and Arsenal was aware of this.

Dick Law, a former transfer negotiator for the London club, traveled to Spain to meet with Jose Angel Sanchez, the general manager of Real Madrid, who disclosed that the team might even contemplate selling Karim Benzema or Angel Di Maria. Only Carlo Ancelotti refused to accept it. He hadn’t anticipated losing either player. The Italian was willing to let Mesut Ozil go, though.

Difficult times:

The biggest issue for Arsenal was therefore not Ozil, but rather Tottenham, who had attempted to get Madrid to swear not to sell any players to their north London rivals in order to pay for the Bale deal. Although chief executive Ivan Gazidis was certain that Daniel Levy was “bluffing – because he’s already spent the Bale money” he didn’t want to take any chances.

The final day of the summer transfer market, September 1, saw Arsenal host Tottenham in the Premier League. Law was in Munich on the morning of the game, where Ozil was scheduled to have his physical, but Gazidis requested him to fly back to London so that he could be in the directors’ box at Emirates because Tottenham was beginning to suspect trouble.

“So, I boarded a flight at 11 a.m., changed in transit, and when I entered the directors’ box, Franco Baldini and Levy greeted me and inquired as to my plans. I declared that since it had been the derby, I wouldn’t miss it.”

In response to a question about deadline day after Arsenal’s 1-0 victory, Wenger informed Sky Sports that “perhaps there will be an excellent surprise for you” while attempting to control his smile.

But it was more than that. Despite a last-minute attempt by Manchester United to sabotage the agreement, Arsenal finally closed the deal for Ozil, leaving the club’s supporters in a wonderful state of surprise and awe. At the time, 24-year-old Ozil was widely considered the world’s best-attacking midfielder.

Where is Mesut Ozil?
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Everyone was angry with Ozil’s exit:

In each of his three seasons in Spain, he had topped the assists lists, and the Madrid media and supporters held him in high regard. Some fans screamed “Do not sell Ozil!” at Perez during Bale’s official introduction as a Real player, while the players of Real Madrid were appalled by the German’s departure.

“He’s an outstanding footballer, unique, and the final player from Real Madrid that I would sell if it were up to me,” Sergio Ramos snarled. This [decision] is beyond my comprehension. Even angrier than before was Cristiano Ronaldo. Ozil, who had been his primary assist and pass provider, reportedly informed his teammates that the sale was “really unfortunate for me. He had been the player who understood my goal-scoring movements the best.

Ronaldo was then “angry” over Ozil’s departure as Arsenal supporters were about his arrival. Those who had gathered outside the Emirates were plunged into ecstasy and celebrated enthusiastically in front of the Sky Sports cameras as the club-record £42.4 million ($54m) was formally announced. For all of us, today is an exciting day, said Gazidis. “We have acquired a player of the highest caliber and one of Europe’s most promising young players.”

When Per Mertesacker initially trained with a young Mesut Ozil at Werder Bremen, he was aware of this. He had incredible talent, but he also occasionally had a negative attitude. After Arsenal suffered a humiliating 6-3 loss at Manchester City in December 2013, Mertesacker publicly chastised his countryman Ozil for failing to recognize the fans. Ozil later made an apology to the fans.

Performance on Passes – Ozil

Few others were able to pick up a pass like Ozil could. Not only did he locate teammates in confined situations, but he accomplished so with a casualness that defied belief. Former Madrid manager Jose Mourinho famously remarked of his favored player, “It’s a skill that makes football seem easy and Mesut possesses that ability.”

Ozil equaled Lionel Messi’s record of 47 assists and generated 323 greater chances than any other player in La Liga during his initial and final games for Madrid. In contrast, he produced 146 more chances in 2015–16 than any other player in the history of the Premier League.

The fact that he still ranks seventh on the all-time record despite having played a smaller number of matches (184) than any other player in the top 30 is also telling. However, more opportunities and assists ought to have been made. Despite spending almost eight complete seasons in England, Ozil had a very small role in the latter 18 months of his stay. Despite only departing for Fenerbahce the next January, he played his farewell game on March 7, 2020.

His final action while wearing an Arsenal jersey was an assist that won the game. What went wrong, then? Why did a talent of a certain generation leave in strife?

Where is Mesut Ozil?
Photo Courtesy of Skysports:

Politics in the game:

Despite aiding the team in three FA Cup victories in his initial four seasons, Ozil’s detractors were never really put to rest. Even former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas criticized his moral integrity. The Spaniard said to BT Sport, “I am not taking anything away from Mesut Ozil, he played excellent football [at Real Madrid], but once you move down a little bit… you have to prove yourself a bit, because you don’t have the same talent around you. “The club buys someone to be the real leader, but I don’t believe he has it in him,” a member said.

However, it’s possible that Cesc, Arsenal, and other parties had unrealistic expectations for Ozil. It’s possible to make the case that he was a victim of a changing game, effectively being turned into a “luxury player” by tactical movements that required attacking midfielders to exert much more effort.

In the 1990s, a time when trequartistas flourished, Ozil unquestionably could have been a superstar, but his carefree demeanor eventually earned him suspicion and in some cases outright hatred. He was the person who was repeatedly held responsible for the failures of the team, and not only for Arsenal. Although Ozil may have contributed to Germany’s World Cup victory in 2014, the public was divided on Ozil’s contribution to Die Mannschaft by the time the 2018 World Cup in Russia rolled along.

During a moment when Germany’s diplomatic relations with Turkey, where Ozil’s parents were from, were on the point of total collapse, there was also a worrisome racial undertone to some of the criticism.

Ozil actually lashed out at the nation’s football association (DFB) regarding the way they saw him after he left the national team following the squad’s shocking first-round loss in Russia: “I’m a German if we win, but I become an immigrant if we lose.”

Much of the debate had focussed on Ozil’s associations with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, with whom he was posing for a picture alongside Ilkay Gundogan. The latter chose to give a rationale for his choices, whereas Ozil remained silent until he made his international retirement announcement.

Lothar Matthaus, among others, claimed, however, that the critique of Ozil had nothing to do with politics and that it was instead based on the perception shared by many that the player no longer looked to love serving Germany. “I think his time to play for the national team is over,” he said to ESPN. “And not as a result of any image or political choice – I couldn’t care less. Mesut Ozil didn’t do as well at the World Cup, in my opinion.”

Fighting with everything:

There was a hope that Ozil’s decision to give up playing for his country might lessen the physical and emotional stress he was under because he was obviously upset about the way he had been disparaged in his native country. However, with Wenger’s departure, all hope was effectively dashed that Ozil would return to the form that had enlivened the 2015–16 campaign.

Additionally, because of the enormous deal, he was granted in January 2018, his performance, attitude, and game were much more closely watched. Arsenal shattered their salary structure to keep Ozil at the Emirates, starting to pay him an astounding £350,000 per week, in their desperate attempt to hold onto a player whose contract was entering its final six months. They did this to prevent another instance of the predicament which noticed they lose Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.

Sadly, he fell well short of defending that substantial compensation increase. After Ozil’s sad breakup with Germany, Unai Emery tried to comfort him by giving him the No. 10 shirt and a part of the captaincy, but he soon started to doubt his dedication to the team. Emery effectively confirmed the notion that the attacking midfielder just couldn’t be relied upon to perform in challenging away matches by omitting Ozil from the starting lineup for a number of games.

Even Emery’s final departure had little positive impact on Ozil’s situation, as Mikel Arteta left him off of his 25-man Premier League roster for the 2020–21 campaign.

Ozil stated on Twitter, “I promised my loyalty and allegiance to the team that I love, Arsenal, upon signing a new deal in 2018, and it pains me that this pledge has not been reciprocated.” “I’ve constantly tried to maintain optimism week by week, believing that there may be a chance to rejoin the squad soon. That is why I haven’t spoken up until now.

“Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Mikel Arteta, our new coach, and I were moving in the right direction, and I would say that my performances were at a really high level. Then, though, things changed once more, and I was prohibited from playing football for Arsenal. I won’t give up until I get my chance, and I won’t allow my ninth season at Arsenal to come to this.”

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